Callahan’s Analytics Software Helps Upper Cumberland Credit Union Measure, Learn, And Thrive

The credit union uses performance information to achieve strategic victories.

 
Aaron Pugh

 

CU QUICK FACTS

Upper Cumberland FCU
Data as of 06.30.17

HQ: Crossville, TN
ASSETS: $61.9M
MEMBERS: 7,500
BRANCHES: 3
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 6.2%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 3.1%
ROA: 1.14%

Formed in 1935 to serve employees of the Carter Ink Company, Upper Cumberland Federal Credit Union ($61.9M, Crossville, TN) uses hard data to measure its performance and guide its strategic direction.

That’s why the credit union started using Callahan’s analytics software in 2007 and continues to leverage Callahan’s insights to this day. With a data-backed approach to solving challenges and identifying opportunities, Upper Cumberland far outpaces both its state- and asset-based peers in loan, share, and membership growth.

Here, Denise Cooper, CEO of Upper Cumberland, discusses how the credit union uses performance information to achieve strategic victories.

 

 

Why did Upper Cumberland start using Callahan & Associates’ resources?

Denise Cooper: We started using Callahan’s analytics software to provide graphs and statistical comparisons to the board of directors so they’d have a true idea of how we compare to other credit unions in Tennessee and throughout the United States. We also use that data in our annual report and during presentations at our annual meeting.

We like it because we can easily set up financial comparisons based on a variety of factors such as asset size, region, charter type, and core processor. And eventually, we began using it for more robust, in-depth analysis.

We like it because we can easily set up financial comparisons based on a variety of factors such as asset size, region, charter type, and core processor. .

Denise Cooper, CEO, Upper Cumberland FCU

How have you used Callahan data to shape your strategy?

DC: We use Callahan Analytics to identify which credit unions are hitting the best ratios and then contact them to share their knowledge with us.

For example, we identified a credit union that was doing exceptionally well in ROA and mortgage penetration. We called its executives, and they gave us tips on a better way to present our adjustable rate mortgage product.

In our area, people are financially conservative and tend to steer clear of ARMs. But by talking with this peer organization, we learned we could better explain the details of when and how these loans reprice. We also introduced a new option that only reprices three times over a 30-year period. Because most people will move, change jobs, or upsize or downsize before the first reprice period, the members are more comfortable with this mortgage.

We also use Callahan Analytics to compare our rankings against other credit unions in the state and share that with our team members. When employees see that their small organization ranks close to some of the biggest credit unions in our state, it creates a lot of pride in the work they’ve done.

Using Callahan Analytics, we were able to check out the expense ratio and efficiency ratio of all credit unions using specific core processors.

Denise Cooper, CEO, Upper Cumberland FCU

In addition to balance sheet and portfolio decisions, have you also made operational decisions using this data?

DC: We recently spent a lengthy time investigating new core processors. Using Callahan Analytics, we were able to check out the expense ratio and efficiency ratio of all credit unions using specific core processors. If any groups averaged higher in these metrics than we were comfortable with, we determined core processor costs or staff difficulties using the system could likely be a factor.

This process of elimination helped narrow our core processor search to four candidates. We also considered factors off the balance sheet, such as compatibility and overlap with our current home banking, bill pay, and audio response. But because this is one of our biggest expenses, it was worth the time and money to really examine the data and make sure we were making the right choice.

Learn more about how your credit union can leverage Callahan’s analytics software. Visit: Callahan.com/analytics | Email: support@callahan.com | Call: (800) 446-7453

 

July 18, 2017


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